Following DC’s controversial decision to spoil what could arguably be one of their best selling books of the year days in advance with seemingly no upside, writers Dan Slott and Tom King have made statements long and short against the practice, Dan Slott posted a rant via his Facebook page:
I hate this spoiler culture we’re in. Storytellers WANT to tell you the BEST stories possible,” Slott wrote. “To do that, some of the most important tools in our toolbox are surprise reveals. If you rob us of that, you can kill the heart of a story that MANY people have poured months of our lives into- writers, pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers, and editors. For a lot of us TELLING that story is more rewarding than any paycheck– it’s why we do what we do.
Slott, who takes over as the writer on Marvel’s Fantastic Four this August, acknowledged that in many cases (as with Batman #50), publishers released spoilers on purpose to draw in mainstream attention, and while he agreed that it “still sucks” to see that, he took particular aim at readers (whether fans or journalists) who are so eager to let everyone know they have a secret to share that they seem to just blurt it out.
When gossip or comic news sites spoil things ahead of time, they’re doing it for clicks. When fans find out stuff and spoil it ahead of time, they’re doing it for attention. That’s frustrating,” he wrote. “It’s even more frustrating when a fan reads something ahead of time, LOVES IT, and wants to SHARE that love with you. They want to let you know what cool thing is coming up because they’re genuinely excited about it. And it’s paradoxical, because they’re going to spoil the thing they want you to experience– instead of experiencing it ON THE PAGE the way that THEY experienced it!
Tom King himself made multiple statements, one such Tweet states that his Batman run is a 100 issue story, and as such the story is only half over. He also made this initial post:
Interestingly DC’s Senior Vice President of Sales John Cunningham made a post that was leaked from a DC Marketing Group:
1. DC Sales strongly advocated getting the news out ahead of the OSD [on sale date], so that the Moment of Realization did not occur hours before events began. We even did our level best to try and spoil it here on this page over and over again (and failed). The NY Times article was posted here at 630 a.m. PST not out of ‘Pride’ — please — but to get you the information as soon as we could.
2. In the abstract, we believed the news would break on Monday morning, given the arrival time of physical copies in store and the reality that a copy or a scan would end up being passed to uncontrolled comic book outlets (much like Marvel’s wedding issue last week and every other major comic book event in the [last] decade).
3. As mentioned here before, any discussion about financial remedies for problematic DC product must occur after the product is on sale.
4. While The Times piece is more fulsome [than] some might like, it does not spoil the shock ending of the book for fans. We’re working on getting this posted here for you.
5. I stand by my belief that BATMAN #50 is one of the best single issue periodicals of the last decade, that it is a special moment in comic book history, and that if it’s not the book we (think) we want, it’s the book we need.
So basically, he says we (the readers and comic book media) were gonna spoil it anyway, so we don’t deserve the chance to discover things for ourselves, neat. -John
Retailers have also spoken strongly about the spoiler, if you aren’t aware of how comic ordering works, orders are placed well in advance, so if the issue underperforms as a result of poor marketing strategy, shops will be left footing the bill. This issue was marketed as the event of the summer with dozens of variant covers, and comic shops, many still reeling from an almost identical situation caused by Marvel regarding a wedding in X-men Gold.
Batman #50 is in stores tomorrow, may you remain unspoiled until then!
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